Haas, Alpine summoned to Thursday hearing over COTA protest dispute

Jon Wilde
Fernando Alonso's Alpine heads a train of cars. Austin October 2022.

Fernando Alonso's Alpine heads a train of cars during the United States Grand Prix. Austin October 2022.

Alpine and Haas have had their United States Grand Prix protest dispute kicked into the Mexican Grand Prix weekend by the FIA.

Several hours after the race at the Circuit of The Americas had finished, Haas launched a double protest against the result which was aimed at the Red Bull and Alpine teams.

The reason was that Haas had taken umbrage at no black-and-orange flag being shown to either Sergio Perez or Fernando Alonso when they were driving with parts hanging off their cars, which they perceived as a safety issue.

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner admitted the protests had been made to make a point to the FIA, with his driver Kevin Magnussen having been shown the black-and-orange flag three times this season after incurring damage to his front wing.

Although the protest against Red Bull was thrown out, the one against Alpine was upheld and Alonso received a 30-second retrospective time penalty that dropped him from seventh place to 15th and out of the points.

That meant Kevin Magnussen, who was scoring Haas’ first points since the Austrian Grand Prix, climbed from ninth to eighth.

Alpine launched a counter-protest, claiming Haas had submitted their complaint 24 minutes after the deadline had passed to do so.

Now the FIA have summoned both teams to a video hearing from their respective locations at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, venue for the Mexican Grand Prix, on Thursday October 27.

However, the date was not immediately crystal clear from the FIA’s notification given they said “Thursday October 24”, with that date on the calendar actually being Monday.

It is scheduled for “18:00 Mexico City time”, which is midnight in the UK.

The reason for the hearing is given as being “to determine the admissibility or otherwise of the protest lodged by Alpine against the decision of the stewards of the 2022 United States Grand Prix to find the protest lodged by Haas F1 Team as admissible”.

A note is added to say that if the Alpine protest is deemed admissible, a separate hearing of the protest itself will be convened with all parties to be advised of the time and date.

Haas team principal Guenther Steiner said the original protest had been made to try and encourage consistency in such decisions, with Alonso having been driving with a loose mirror on his A522 that eventually flew off the car.

“I’m not targeting anybody,” said the Italian. “I mean, for me, it needs to be consistent. The FIA are the regulator and they need to get consistent.”

Read more: Haas’ desire for FIA consistency was behind their Austin protests